UCCE Master Gardeners of Solano County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Solano County

Become a Master Gardener

Information about the process

Ever thought about becoming a Master Gardener? Do you know who the Master Gardeners are and what they do? Do you love to garden? Would you be interested in passing on your horticultural knowledge to others? Well, here's some information for you.

The requirements to become a Master Gardener are simple:

  • You have some knowledge or experience in gardening or landscape.
  • You are willing to learn about horticulture and share this knowledge with others.
  • You are accepted into the local training program and can volunteer time conducting horticultural educational programming coordinated through the U.C. Cooperative Extension office in Woodland.

To become a Master Gardener, you must first fill out and submit an application along with a fee to the U.C. Cooperative Extension office.  The deadline for the 2018 training will be Halloween, October 31 by 5pm. After reviewing the application, you may be invited for a short interview in early November. Following acceptance into the program, the trainee begins the core training.

The training includes daytime classes held once a week for approximately 15 weeks. The class begins in early January and goes through April. Class attendance is mandatory since each class is a stand-alone section. Class hours are from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m on Fridays.

University of California specialists, horticultural professionals, and veteran Master Gardeners teach the classes. Class topics include, but aren’t limited to-Botany, Soils, Vegetables, Fruit Trees, Trees and Shrubs, Plant Pathology, Insects, and Turf.

A fee, which is determined by the local coordinator, is charged for the training and includes a training manual, a pest resource guide, fingerprinting, and an official badge, once the training is completed successfully.

Upon successful completion of the classroom training and passing the final exam, you will become a Master Gardener trainee. From there, you will embark on an adventure of attaining volunteer hours. The volunteer hours can be accumulated through a variety of projects and activities, such as presentations, workshops, Farmer's Markets, and the Master Gardener hotline. An active Master Gardener must remain current in annual educational updates and volunteer service hours required by the UC Master Gardener program in Solano County. U.C. Master Gardener trainees are required to complete 50 hours after training. Veteran Master Gardeners are required to complete 25 volunteer hours and 12 continuing education hours per year to remain certified.

Master Gardener program first years (just graduated MGs) will have Master Gardener mentors. Mentors are experienced active Master Gardeners who are paired with trainees to help guide them through a successful volunteer experience.

Master Gardener volunteers work on behalf of and under the supervision of University of California Cooperative Extension. Volunteers are required to report to their Master Gardener coordinator about all planned activities prior to conducting the program.

Most of the volunteer work is conducted outside the UC Cooperative Extension Office; some projects involve inter-agency interaction with school gardening projects, parks and recreation departments, however, the list doesn't stop there. The Master Gardener program makes presentations to anyone in Solano County.

To receive an application for the U.C. Master Gardener Training Class you can:

  • Sign up on a list found at the Master Gardener info table at a local farmers market
  • Stop by the University of California Cooperative Extension Office, 501 Texas Street, first floor, Fairfield, CA
  • Call the Master Gardener hotline, 707-784-1322
  • Call the program coordinator and chat about the application process, 707-389-0645, jmbaumbach@ucanr.edu 

UC Master Gardener letter and application

The UC Master Gardeners will be closing the recruitment for their 2018 training on October 31, 2017 by 5pm.  Applications that are received after this deadline will not be considered.

Here is the link to the application file.app packet mg training 2018

Photos of Past Training Classes

Classroom in Solano
Classroom in Solano
Books and badge
Books and badge
Graduating class celebration.
Graduating class celebration.

Webmaster Email: jmbaumbach@ucanr.edu